The moneyline bet is the most popular bet when it comes to betting on baseball. The run line is simply the For beginners a moneyline bet is the easiest to understand because you are just simply betting on the winner of the game. The Dodgers, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, would be listed at -180 versus the Rockies (+160) with Jonathan Gray on the mound. The run line would be Dodgers -1.5 (-110) and the Rockies +1.5 (-110).
Every game is different but in general the moneyline is the better of the two plays. In the long run betting on the team you feel has value will be the smarter play. The run line bet does have an advantage when you are wanting a heavy favorite, but the juice is just too much to get value. For example, the Yankees with Gerrit Cole on the mound are -340 against the Orioles.
On the run line the Yankees are -180. You think the game will be a blowout and the better value is betting the run line. If you like the underdog, always take the moneyline. The number of one run games isn’t nearly as high as most people think. The return on investment is much better to just take the bigger payout and play the moneyline.
Let’s say you like the Cubs at +160 against the Cardinals. The run line has the Cubs +1.5 (-120). You found value on the Cubs, so you would be risking an 80 point difference to get 1.5 runs. You can bet $100 to win $160 on the moneyline, or bet $120 to win $100 on the run line.
The only time the run line benefit would be advantageous would be if the Cardinals would win the game by one run. Any other result and the moneyline bet would have been better. A one run victory by the Cardinals is not likely, so betting the moneyline is the no brainer here.
If you are looking to be in the baseball betting business long term, the moneyline bet is the way to go. It is the most consistent and will result in the least variation of all the different betting types in baseball. While there is the occasional time where the run line (only when betting a favorite) or total is the right play, 90% of the time the moneyline is the bet you should be making. If you combine that with finding quality underdogs to bet, you should be in good shape by season’s end.